It started with an office party.
Kraig Parker was a graphic designer for Hunt Oil Company in Dallas when he first felt the spark.
Known for being musician and having an "Elvis vibe," Parker was tapped to perform as the King during an Elvis-themed birthday party. It took some convincing on the part of his coworkers, but Parker was eventually persuaded.
It was during this performance—donning a costume made by one of the office secretaries—that the magic happened.
"I never felt any kind of electricity like that," Parker said. "The response from people was just amazing."
Word spread and Parker found himself performing at more parties, weddings and eventually taking the stage at competitions. He also put his graphic design skills to work and took out an ad in the yellow pages. Parker said he still does a lot of his own advertising and web design.
At the Hard Rock Cafe in Dallas, Charles Stone was in the crowd. Stone said he had been reluctant to attend the competition. After all—being the real Elvis Presley's former tour manager—he'd seen his share of tribute artists not quite fill the blue suede shoes. But free food and beer have persuasive qualities.
Stone said he was about ready to leave (it was not one of the better competitions) when he was convinced to stay for the main attraction.
That night, Parker impressed one of the biggest Elvis critics with his stage presence and talent. Stone said Parker came on stage with a full band, horns and female singers.
"He's one of the best in the world," Stone said.
Stone said that Parker doesn't try to be Elvis, but puts his own spin on the performance. However, for those who have never seen the rock legend perform, Parker "is as good as it's going to get." Stone said that those who worked with the real Elvis Presley are in agreement that Parker is one of the best tribute artists.
When Stone approached Parker about getting out of Dallas and going on a tour, Parker said he asked him, "What took you so long?"
Since then, Parker has performed at venues, sports arenas, art theaters, casinos and fairs around the world. He's also placed in competitions at the Oklahoma State Fair.
The full Las Vegas style show will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 3 at the Chickasha High School Activity Center at 102 John Cowan Dr.
Tickets are on sale at brownpapertickets.com or available by calling 1-800-838-3006.
The audience can expect two sets with a full band, a costume change and a scarf giveaway.
That part, Parker said, "is always a circus."